Chemtool to Maintain Presence in Crystal Lake

Chemtool President Jim Athans drives Crystal Lake's Independence Day Grand Marshall Dorothy Heisler in Sunday's Parade.

McHenry County lost the big prize, first to Garden Prairie, then to the Rockford area, but Chemtool President Jim Athans told me Sunday that he plans to close his Elkhorn plant and move its operations to the Crystal Lake location.

There will be 100-150 jobs at the Crystal Lake facility on Ridgefield Road.

500-600 will be in the 180-acre Rockton location, where Beloit Corporation was located before it went under.

Athans described the site, located on the Rock River, as the garbage dump of the area.  He has done a lot of cleanup and renovation.

I suggested that his company must be THE success story for the Rockford area.

He didn’t disagree, pointing out that there were over 200 empty factory sites within ten miles of the tollway in the Winnebago County area.

I continue to lament that Crystal Lake and McHenry County economic development folks let Chemtool administrative and research facilities slip through their fingers.

There was so much sales tax anticipated by residents of Garden Prairie that residents briefly incorporated. I lost track of why Athans decided not to locate there, but after he did, the village government disappeared, too.

McHenry County used to have the Pure Oil Research Center where Crystal Lake Jewel and Hobby Lobby are now located and the Morton facility where Walmart now sits in Woodstock.

Compare the salaries and weep, McHenry County.

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